Saturday’s final will crown a first-time winner in Melbourne
Australian Open women’s singles final
Who: Naomi Osaka vs. Petra Kvitova
When: Saturday 26 January
Where: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park
Estimated start time: 8.30am (GMT)
TV channel: live on Eurosport, highlights on BBC One
Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova will aim to win their first Australian Open women’s singles title on Saturday in Melbourne.
Australian Open men’s final: Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal preview, predictions, odds, TV
In the semi-finals on Thursday US Open champion Osaka secured a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win against Karolina Pliskova while Czech eighth seed Kvitova beat unseeded American Danielle Collins 7-6 (7-2), 6-0.
For Japanese star Osaka, 21, it’s a second grand slam final in a row after her victory in the United States in September.
Kvitova is aiming for a third grand slam title after wins at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. For the 28-year-old Kvitova her appearance in the Melbourne final comes just two years after she suffered multiple injuries during a knife attack in 2016.
The BBC reports that she sustained damage to ligaments and tendons in her playing left hand when fighting off an intruder.
On reaching her first major final since the knife attack Kvitova said: “I didn’t know even if I [was] going to play tennis again. It’s been a long journey. To be honest, I think not very many people believed that I can do that again, to stand on the court and play tennis and play on this level.”
Head to head: Osaka vs. Kvitova
World ranking: 4
Turned pro: 2013
WTA career titles: 2
Grand slam titles: 1 (2018 US Open)
World ranking: 6
Turned pro: 2006
WTA career titles: 26
Grand slam titles: 2 (Wimbledon 2011, 2014)